Seo Na Hong , M.D., Jong Chun Park , M.D., Nam Sik Yoon , M.D., Sang Rok Lee , M.D., Kye Hun Kim , M.D., Young Joon Hong , M.D., Hyung Wook Park , M.D., Ju Han Kim , M.D., Youngkeun Ahn , M.D., Myung Ho Jeong , M.D., Jeong Gwan Cho , M.D., Jung Chaee Kang , M.D.
20 June 2008
Behcet's disease (BD) is a systemic disorder associated with a characteristic vasculitis that can involve both veins and arteries of all sizes. Endothelial activation or injury is a characteristic feature of BD. Endothelial dysfunction is widely regarded as being the initial lesion in the development of atherosclerosis. The carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT) is a widely accepted marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. We aimed to determine the carotid IMT in BD patients with using high-resolution B-mode Doppler ultrasonography.
We studied 40 patients (24 males, mean age: 39.1±8.5 years) who were diagnosed by the international diagnostic criteria of Behcet's disease and 20 healthy controls (13 males, mean age: 40.2±5.1 years), and the two groups were matched by age and gender. No subject in either group had a history of atherosclerosis or its complications. The clinical data, including the age of onset, the duration of disease, a history of medication, the activity score and the laboratory data were analyzed.
The carotid IMT in the BD group was significantly higher than that in the control group (0.71±0.22 mm vs. 0.59±0.09 mm, respectively, p<0.01). Cardiac and major vessel involvements were not identified in the BD group. However, minor vascular involvements were documented in 2 patients with deep vein thrombosis, in 4 patients with superficial thrombophlebitis and in 2 patients with pseudoaneurysm. The carotid IMT in the patients with posterior uveitis or retinal vasculitis was higher than that of the patients without these findings (0.85±0.21 mm vs. 0.64±0.10 mm, respectively, p=0.007), but there was no difference of the IMT according to minor vascular involvement.